Kirstie Alley was born in Wichita, Kansas January 12, 1951. Her father is Robert Deal Alley, who owned a lumber company, and her mother is Lillian Alley. She had two siblings, Colette and Craig. In 1981, an automobile accident involving a drunk driver killed her mother and left her father seriously injured. Kirstie attended Wichita Southeast High School, graduating in 1969, and Kansas State University, dropping out after her sophomore year.
After moving to Los Angeles to pursue Scientology and work as an interior designer, Alley appeared as a contestant on the game show Match Game in 1979. She won both rounds, winning $500 in the first round and $5500 in the second round. She also appeared on the game show Password Plus in 1980. Her film debut was in 1982 playing the Vulcan Starfleet officer Lieutenant Saavik in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”.
The next year she was in the movie “One More Chance”; in 1984 Kristie acted in “Champions”, Blind Date” and “Runaway”; in 1987 she was in”Summer School” a Carl Reiner film starring Mark Harmon; In 1987 she played herself in “She’s Having a Baby”, and “Shoot to Kill” starring Sidney Poitier”; in 1989 Kristie was in “Loverboy” and “Look Who’s Talking” with John Travolta and Bruce Willis. She would reprise her role as Mollie in the 1990 “Look Who’s Talking Too” and the 1993 “Look Who’s Talking Now”.
Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.John Travolta
In 1990, Kirstie co-starred with John Larroquette in “Madhouse” and in another Carl Reiner film “Sibling Rivalry” with Sam Elliott, Jami Gertz, Bill Pullman, Carrie Fisher, and Scott Bakula. In 1995, she was in John Carpenter’s “Village of the Damned” with Christopher Reeve and Mark Hamill, and “It Takes Two”; “Sticks and Stones” in 1996; In 1997 she was in “Nevada”, Woody Allen’s “Deconstructing Harry”, and with Tim Allen in “For Richer and Poorer”.
In 1999, Kirstie was in “The Mao Game”, and in “Drop Dead Gorgeous” with Kirsten Dunst, Ellen Barkin, Brittany Murphy, Allison Janney, Denise Richards, and Amy Adams; in 2004 “Back by Midnight”; “Syrup” in 2013; and “Accidental Love” in 2015 starring Jessica Biel, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
From 1978 until 2022 Kirstie Alley also did a lot of television. In 1978 she appeared on an episode of the short-lived science fiction sitcom “Quark”; in 1979, on the previously noted “Match Game” (3 episodes); in 1983 she appeared on “The Love Boat” (1 episode), Casey Collins on the espionage series “Masquerade” (13 episodes); in 1985 she was Virgilia Hazard in the Miniseries “North and South” with Patrick Swayze and in the horror series “The Hitchhiker” (2 episodes).
From 1987 until 1993 she was in another one of her most memorable roles, as Rebecca Howe in the comedy sitcom “Cheers”. First appearing in season 6, she starts out as a strong independent woman, manager of the bar for the corporation that bought Cheers from Sam after his on-off relationship with Diane ended. (154 episodes). She hosted “Saturday Night Live” twice; “Wings” 1993 (1 ep.); she played Veronica on “Veronica’s Closet” 1997-1999 (66 episodes); 1997 “Ink” (1 ep.), and was in the Miniseries “The Last Don”.
I was on a plane today and did something I rarely do. I watched an old episode of Cheers. It was the episode where Tom Berenger proposes to Kirstie, who keeps saying no, even though she desperately wants to say yes. Kirstie was truly brilliant in it. Her ability to play a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown was both moving and hysterically funny. She made me laugh 30 years ago when she shot that scene, and she made me laugh today just as hard. As I got off the plane, I heard that Kirstie had died. I am so sad and so grateful for all the times she made me laugh. I send my love to her children. As they well know, their mother had a heart of gold. I will miss her.Ted Danson
Kirstie reprised her role of Rose Marie Clericuzio in the 1998 “The Last Don II”; in 2001 she was in the Miniseries “Blonde, and in one episode of the sitcom “Dharma & Greg”. In 2004 she was in an episode of “Without a Trace”; in 2005 she was in the series “Fat Actress” (7 ep.); in 2006 she was in an episode of “King of Queens”, in 2010 she was in “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life” (12 Ep.); 2011-2012 she was on 34 episodes of “Dancing with the Stars”; In 2013-2014 she was Maddie Banks in “Kirstie” (12 ep.) and also in “Hot in Cleveland” (2 ep.).
Kirstie was a unique and wonderful person and friend. Her joy of being was boundless. We became friends almost instantly when she joined the cast of Cheers. She loved kids and my kids loved her too. We had sleepovers at her house, with treasure hunts that she created. She had massive Halloween and Easter parties and invited the entire crew of the show and their families. She wanted everyone to feel included. She loved her children deeply. I’ve never met anyone remotely like her. I feel so thankful to have known her. I’m going to miss her very, very much.Rhea Perlman
In 2015 she was in an episode of “The Middle”, and season 1 (6 ep.) of “Time Crashers”; in 2016 she was in an episode of “Flaked”, and Nurse Ingrid Hoffel in season 2 of “Scream Queens” (10 ep.); in 2018 she was a runner-up in “Celebrity Big Brother 22”; in 2019 she was in an episode of “The Goldbergs”, and in 2022 was Baby Mammoth in “The Masked Singer”. She was in several TV movies and besides actress, she produced 8 shows, wrote 1 series, and has also been an executive producer in several.
Kirstie Alley died from colon cancer at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida on December 5, 2022, at the age of 71.